Introducing Read+Comment

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An introduction to how the UK government is using commentable documents, and an introduction to Read+Comment, a hosted, WordPress-based platform for engaging audiences around strategies and dcouments

An introduction to how the UK government is using commentable documents, and an introduction to Read+Comment, a hosted, WordPress-based platform for engaging audiences around strategies and dcouments

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  • 1. Read+Comment: commentable documents reloaded September 2010 Steph Gray, Helpful Technology
  • 2. Implementing commentable documents
    • Read+Comment
    • Back in 2008, there were some interesting options already:
      • CommentOnThis (by MySociety volunteer Sam Smith)
      • Co-ment (collaborative text editing)
      • Scribd (embeddable documents)
      • Google Docs or wikis
      • CommentPress (WordPress theme for paragraph-level comments)
      • just using regular ol’ Typepad/WordPress
    • But it’s two years on, and things are now even more interesting:
      • In 2009, DIUS released Commentariat , a WordPress theme built for document commenting, used by lots of government organisations, and as a basis for something better by lots more
      • CommentPress is now being actively developed as Digress.It as used in RegulationRoom. org and WriteToReply offers a hosted service
      • Google Docs now allows live document highlighting
      • Crowdsourcing: Delib’s OpinionSuite for Spending Challenge & Your Freedom
  • 3. Reloading commentable documents
    • Read+Comment
    • There seem to be three main directions for commentable documents in the context of UK government digital engagement at the moment:
    1. Collaborative drafting and detailed commenting on a document 2. Crowdsourcing, reviewing and prioritising ideas 3. Ongoing engagement around a strategy
  • 4. 2009: Commentariat 1.0
    • Read+Comment
    • A different site for each document
    • All about the document structure
    • Flexible and accessible, but took some fiddling with for each new project
  • 5. 2010: Commentariat 2.0
    • Read+Comment
    • Designed to be able to deploy quickly, for lots of documents
    • Layers: comment quickly or slowly, publicly or privately
    • Position the document alongside other channels for engagement (blog, email Twitter etc)
    • Keep it accessible and flexible, but make it possible to change the look and feel without coding skills
  • 6. One bunch of code, lots of different-looking documents
    • Read+Comment
  • 7. So what’s Read+Comment?
    • Read+Comment
    • Ready-made software, hosting and support for online engagement around commentable documents
    WordPress 3.0 + Commentariat 2.0 Hosting + Configuration As much support as you need + + Your own subdomain address, and the basic site setup done for you UK cloud-based, scalable Ubuntu Linux hosting. Software tested, maintained and ready. Fixed price or flexible
  • 8. Out of the box, a new Read+Comment site
    • Read+Comment
    • Soon after you’ve signed up, you’ll get emailed with the login details for your new site:
    • Comes set up with some demo content showing how you can organise the pages
    • Is password-protected, for you to share internally, until you’re ready to launch
  • 9. A new Read+Comment site
    • Read+Comment
    • Drag-and-drop to layout the homepage
    • Edit content using regular WordPress WYSIWYG editor
    • Moderate (spam-filtered) comments before they appear -- or not, you choose
  • 10. A new Read+Comment site
    • Read+Comment
    • Customise the look and feel to upload new backgrounds, choose colours etc
    • Change layout to suit the project - two columns or three, fixed or ‘floating’ comment box
    • Add your own CSS rules and analytics code if you want
  • 11. Government-friendly
    • Read+Comment
    • Low cost (like, under a grand)
    • Quick: can have a nice-looking site up and running in hours
    • Transformational Government & COI standards compliant:
      • Designed for time-limited sites, with functionality most CMS don’t offer
      • Subdomain can be mapped to your chosen subdomain or as a simple redirect (myconsultation.department.gov.uk or department.gov.uk/myconsultation)
      • Indexable by search engines and The National Archives - add to your sitemap
      • Easy to track cost and usage data if you want to report on it
      • Cross-browser compliant - yes, even IE6
      • Ready-made Privacy, Accessibility and Moderation policies and T&Cs for you to tailor
      • Core templates and functionality accessible to WCAG Priority Level 2 (AA)
  • 12. A sales pitch in three flavours (kind of)
    • Read+Comment
    Off you go Keys to the site Happy to help Jim’ll Fix It Something Else A bit of help tweaking it and getting it right Whatever you need: help with inputting content, tweaks to design or functionality A private version of Read+Comment on your own servers, or customised to you £450+VAT £950+VAT From £1,950+VAT Let’s talk! Traffic limits apply. Costs for 1 site for up to 12 months.
  • 13. What’s next?
    • Read+Comment
    • Find out more about the service: http://readandcomment.com
    • Check out the public demo: http://demo.readandcomment.com
    • Email or call for a chat about the options:
    • [email_address]
    • 020 3012 1024